Video and photo gallery: Hardy fundraisers start 2014 with a New Year’s Day dip at Gorleston

New Year's Day swimmers on Gorleston beach. New Year's Day swimmers on Gorleston beach.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014
1:01 PM

While many were still rubbing the sleep from their eyes, some hardy souls started 2014 with a quick dip in the North Sea.

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New Year's Day swimmers on Gorleston beach.New Year's Day swimmers on Gorleston beach.

The early morning New Year’s Day dip at Gorleston was in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice and about 70 people took part.

Some wore fancy dress, some braved it in swimsuits and shorts but every single goose pimpled dipper raised money for charity.

St Elizabeth events fundraiser Leanne Carhart said: “We are so grateful to everyone who took part and helped raise money. We hope to be able to fund a specialist nurse for over a month when all the sponsor money comes in.

“This was the second time we had run the event and we had more people than last year taking the plunge into the cold North Sea at 10.30am, so it’s really nice to see the event has grown.

“We expanded our free services into Waveney and Great Yarmouth over a year ago and have cared for over 100 patients in the area so far and the money raised from the New Year’s Day Dip will go towards helping improve life for more people living with a progress illness in South Norfolk and East Suffolk.”

Among those taking part in the invigorating event were sisters Kerry Olley, 23, and Megan Jordan, 13, of Gorleston.

Student nurse Kerry, who is studying at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, said: “We came to watch it last time and thought it would be a memorable way to start the year. Plus it’s for a really good cause.”

Speaking after, a chilly-looking Kelly added: “It was brilliant - and very, very cold.”

St Elizabeth volunteers thanked the coastguard for overseeing the event and those who gave up their time on New Year’s Day to make sure everyone stayed safe.

St Elizabeth Hospice is an independent charity which runs specialist palliative day care services in Gorleston, Ditchingham, Beccles and East Suffolk and provides inpatient hospice beds at All Hallows’ Hospital, Ditchingham, and in Ipswich.

It also provides services at the Louise Hamilton Centre in Gorleston.

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